True North Initiative: News Scan 09 14 17

TOP STORIES

Montreal couple was intent on waging jihad, Crown says

The Crown says a young Montreal couple was intent on answering the call from Islamic State to wage jihad in the Middle East and had amassed bomb-making materials at their home. El Mahdi Jamali, 20, and Sabrine Djermane, 21 are on trial on four charges: attempting to leave Canada to commit a terror act abroad; possession of an explosive substance; facilitating a terrorist act; and committing an act under the direction or for the profit of a terrorist organization. They have pleaded not guilty. (CTV)

Montreal couple on trial for terror answered Daesh propaganda call, prosecutor says

A Montreal couple on trial for terrorism was inspired by the call of Daesh propaganda featuring a Canadian fighter who urged Canadian Muslims to come to Syria or carry out attacks at home, a jury heard Wednesday. Laying out the case against El Mahdi Jamali, 20, and Sabrine Djermane, 21, Crown Prosecutor Lyne Decarie referenced the infamous video that was posted online in December 2014. In it, Ottawa native John Maguire spoke about the deadly terror attacks in Quebec and on Parliament Hill a few months prior and urged others to come to the so-called Islamic State or take up arms in Canada. (Toronto Star)

Montreal couple had bomb-making materials, planned to fight with ISIS, court hears

A Montreal couple on trial for terrorism-related charges was found with bomb-making materials and preparing to go to Syria to fight with ISIS at the time they were arrested, a Quebec prosecutor told the court Wednesday. Lyne Décarie outlined the Crown's case against Sabrine Djermane, 21, and El Mahdi Jamali, 20, in her opening statement to the jury in Quebec Superior Court. (CBC) (Yahoo)

Anonymous tip led RCMP to doorstep of Montreal couple on trial on terror charges

An anonymous tip led the RCMP national security team to the doorstep of a young Montreal couple now on trial on terrorism-related charges, a jury heard Wednesday. The investigator who led the case was the first witness to take the stand at the trial of El Mahdi Jamali and Sabrine Djermane. They each face four charges: attempting to leave Canada to commit a terror act abroad; possession of an explosive substance; facilitating a terrorist act; and committing an act under the direction or for the profit of a terrorist organization. (Globe and Mail)

Trudeau: 'Wealthy folks' who would be affected by tax changes 'making a lot of noise'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government's proposed tax changes aren't worrying most Canadians — except for those affected, who he said are making "a lot of noise." Trudeau sat down with Here & Now's Debbie Cooper on Tuesday and said he's had a lot of conversations with people in Newfoundland and Labrador since arriving Monday, and added few people have brought up the proposals. "A lot of those wealthy folks are really fighting to keep those benefits that they have, and they're making a lot of noise," he said. (CBC)

'I'm not going to question' the RCMP spending more than $215,000 on vacation security, Trudeau says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brushed off questions from reporters in St. John’s, Nfld. Wednesday after reports emerged the RCMP footed a bigger-than-anticipated security bill for his trip to the Aga Khan’s private island. “The RCMP provides a protective service for the prime minister and my family and does an excellent job of that,” he said. “It has been the case for all prime ministers in the past and certainly into the future. … I’m not going to question the job or the choices that the RCMP makes.” (National Post)

Frustration in Cape Breton village as backlog delays arrival of Syrian refugees

When a community group formed two years ago to bring a family of Syrian refugees to a Cape Breton village, it was quickly flooded with $40,000 in donations, offers of furniture and clothing, and volunteers ready to help. But members of the Syria to Baddeck committee now feel they've let down their supporters and misled the refugees they promised to sponsor, as federal government delays stall prospects the family will soon be able to travel to Canada and settle in Baddeck. (CBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canadian tech community unhappy with Ottawa’s changes to small business taxes

Canada’s tech community, including the head of one of the country’s best-known firms, is starting to join a growing group grumbling about Ottawa’s proposed changes to small business taxes. They say the plan could stifle investment and hamper innovation in a country trying to poise itself as an entrepreneurial hotbed. (Global)

Toronto's inside workers union considers supporting Black Lives Matter

The leaders of Toronto’s inside workers union have a new cause on their agenda and it’s a highly inflammatory one: Black Lives Matter — Toronto. The Toronto Sun has learned that the CUPE 79 membership will propose the idea of donating to the controversial group to “support their advocacy efforts” at their Sept. 26 general membership meeting. (Toronto Sun)

Family facing deportation despite dad being highly skilled aviation mechanic

Three years ago, former New Zealand residents Dan and Roxanne Margot poured their life savings into a farm house in this East Kent community as they looked forward to raising their two girls in a tranquil, safe rural setting. Today, that tranquil feeling has been replaced by constant worry that the Canadian government will deport them. The uncertainty of their future in Canada has also prompted the family to put their dream home up for sale. (Chatham Daily News)

Fewer young kids, more seniors in low-income households: census

Canadians earned more in 2015 than they did in the previous 10 years, and fewer young children were living in low-income households, according to 2016 census data released by Statistics Canada on Wednesday. The numbers also indicate most Canadian households are saving for their retirement, more couples are contributing equally to their earnings, and the rate of inequality has been largely flat over the last decade. (CBC)

Saskatoon mentoring program works towards cross-cultural bonds

A program in Saskatoon is working to create cross-cultural friendships between those new to the city and long-term residents. "A lot of the people that I've encountered have come on their own or maybe know a few people here but don't have very strong connections because they've left their families and their homes and are feeling a little bit lost," said Tanjalee Kuhl, co-ordinator of the Intercultural Mentoring Program with the Saskatchewan Intercultural Association (SIA). (CBC)

Kitchener Rohingya refugee wants Canada to do more in Myanmar

Canada needs to do more to help Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar, a Kitchener man says. Ahmed Ullah was born in a refugee camp to Rohingya Muslim parents and came to Canada in 2009. He still has family in Myanmar and over the past two weeks, they have called regularly as more than 370,000 refugees have poured out of Myanmar and into Bangladesh. (CBC)

Trudeau presses Myanmar leader Suu Kyi on 'ethnic cleansing' of Muslim population

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday to express “deep concerns” over treatment of Muslims and other ethnic minorities in her country. The phone call followed a chorus of cries for Canada to revoke the honorary citizenship it granted Suu Kyi in 2007. (National Post)

Justin Trudeau will lead delegation to UN General Assembly opening next week

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will address the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week, underscoring Canada's commitment to multilateralism as it vies for a coveted seat on the Security Council. He addressed the opening of the General Assembly last year as well, making for a perfect attendance record since taking office in late 2015. (CBC)

RCMP used cellphone tracking technology unlawfully 6 times, says privacy watchdog

The RCMP used cellphone-tracking technology in a way that was "not lawful" six times, Canada's privacy commissioner said in a report released Thursday.  Mobile device identifiers (MDI) — also referred to as IMSI catchers — work by mimicking a cellphone tower to interact with nearby phones and read the unique ID associated with the phone's International Mobile Subscriber Identity, or IMSI. That number can then be used to track the phone, and sometimes to intercept text messages or calls. (CBC)

Most Canadians oppose arms deals with Saudi Arabia, poll finds

A solid majority of Canadians object to selling combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia in the wake of revelations this summer that Riyadh deployed made-in-Canada combat vehicles against civilians during internal strife in the desert kingdom. A new poll by Nanos Research for The Globe and Mail found that 64 per cent of Canadians oppose and somewhat oppose the Canadian government allowing assault machines to be sold to the Saudi monarchy. Forty-four per cent oppose these sales and another 20 per cent "somewhat oppose" this trade. (Globe and Mail)

Gay Chechen refugee physically threatened in Toronto

Persecuted gay men from Chechnya who sought refuge in Canada now fear for their safety after a disturbing incident in which one of them was physically threatened. The Liberal government is worried about the security of the men taken from safe houses in Russia and brought to Canada as refugees under a secret program that Ottawa has still not officially acknowledged. Although the victim refused to report the incident out of fear of retribution, Toronto police are investigating. The question now is how serious the risk to the men might be, and what can be done to deter people who might wish to harm them. (Globe and Mail)

Ex-President Carter: Give Trump credit on forcing immigration debate

Former President Jimmy Carter on Wednesday expressed optimism that President Donald Trump might break a legislative logjam with his six-month deadline for Congress to address the immigration status of 800,000-plus U.S. residents who were brought to the country illegally as children. Carter told Emory University students that the "pressures and the publicity that Trump has brought to the immigration issue" could even yield comprehensive immigration law changes that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama could not muster. (FOX News)

Amazon Appears To Be Deleting One-Star Reviews Of Hillary Clinton's New Book

Amazon says it's monitoring the system for signs of "abuse" after a page promoting Hillary Clinton's new book, What Happened, was flooded with one-star reviews. The book, a several-hundred page blame game disguised as a memoir, hit shelves yesterday, but before Amazon's copies of What Happened had even reached doorsteps, the negative reactions began to pour in. (Daily Wire)

Trump and Democrats 'to work on Daca Dreamers law'

Top US Democrats say they have agreed to reach a deal with President Donald Trump to protect thousands of young undocumented migrants from deportation. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer said they also agreed to work on a border security package that would exclude Mr Trump's proposed wall with Mexico. (BBC) (AP)

North Korea threatens to 'reduce the US to ashes' and 'sink Japan into the sea' as satellite images suggest Kim Jong-un is preparing another nuclear test

North Korea has threatened to nuke Japan and reduce the US 'to ashes and darkness' in response to the latest sanctions imposed by the UN. The threat was issued via the North's state news agency as US defense officials said the regime has spent the last 48 hours moving mobile missile launchers and preparing fixed sites for launch. (Daily Mail)

Carbon footprints of the Telethon stars: The Hand in Hand hurricane fund-raiser started with a lecture about global warming - then celebrities with multiple homes, cars and private jets starting soliciting much needed money

The A-list celebrities who starred in the telethon for those affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have clocked up hundreds of thousands of air miles which have fuelled rising temperatures and helped create devastating storms. Tuesday night's Hand in Hand: A Benefit for Hurricane Harvey Relief included performances and messages from Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, George Clooney, Cher and Leonardo DiCaprio. They appealed to viewers to donate to help fund relief efforts after the disastrous storms hit the southern US. (Daily Mail)

  

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: How Canada doesn’t deal with jihadists

A recent Global News investigation provided a rare glimpse into the life of an alleged former jihadist who is back in Canada, living freely in Toronto. The Pakistani-born Canadian citizen graduated from a Toronto high school in 2012. He then moved to Pakistan to go to university and began attending a mosque affiliated with an Islamist terrorist group. His mosque told him to join the jihad, so he travelled to Syria and took up arms with Islamic State (ISIS). He became an officer in ISIS’ so-called “morality” police. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Trudeau should've come clean on the Bahamas trip from the very start

Who knew we were in for another instalment of Justin Trudeau’s Excellent Bahamas Adventure?! Let’s just hope, for the sake of the taxpayers, that this is the end of it. Because this is one story that’s been full of twists and turns every step of the way. On Wednesday the CBC reported on access to information documents that revealed the updated costs of Trudeau’s trip to the Aga Khan’s private island this past holiday season - and they've clocked in at almost double the previous amount released. (Toronto Sun)

Adnan Khan: Why Canada should return to Afghanistan

In April 2016, while on a tour of the frontlines in the fight against the so-called Islamic State in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region, General Jonathan Vance, Chief of Defence Staff of the Canadian armed forces, made forceful pitch for why Canada needed to train Iraq’s Kurds. “I believe [the offensive to re-take] Mosul will start this year,” he told CTV News. “The Zeravani commando isn’t formed yet. So as we form it and train it, they’ll have the weapons necessary to do the job they need to do. When the campaign to re-take Mosul will start and end, it would be ideal if we have the Zeravani commando ready for operations.” (Macleans)

Terry Glavin: Singh not what NDP socialists wanted in a leader — and that's a good thing

It is surely a most unpleasant turn of events for all those New Democrats who looked to the rise of British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and hoped that Tom Mulcair’s replacement might be cut from the same rough sort of retrograde cloth. But as things are turning out, the odds-on favourite to win the contest for the NDP leadership is a charming, nattily-dressed, 38-year-old Sikh hipster, human rights lawyer and martial-arts champion, and he is not at all what the NDP’s dreary old socialist faction had in mind. (National Post)

Ezra Levant: Jennifer Breedon discusses how Kurdistan protects Christians facing genocide by ISIS

On last night's show, Legal Analyst for the Clarion Project Jennifer Breedon joined me to discuss her humanitarian work with Christians in the Middle East. With Islamists controlling large areas of Iraq and Syria, there are few places Christians can practice their faith without punishment. (Rebel)

John Ivison: Liberals turn against seafood producer in name of Indigenous reconciliation

In its annual report, Clearwater Seafoods warns shareholders that its international operations are subject to economic and political risk. The domestic operations were obviously not considered precarious — after all, what could go wrong when you have a friend in the prime minister? (National Post)

Rebecca Hamlin: Canada’s asylum claims are spiking dramatically. Will it restrict its welcome at last?

Until recently, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed immigrants and refugees, in stark contrast to the approach of President Trump. This contrast fits a pattern I describe in my research: Canada is frequently more willing to protect vulnerable migrants than its neighbor to the south. The distinction has become even more striking in the past year as Trump and Trudeau have taken opposite positions on a variety of migration issues. (Washington Post)

Andrew Coyne: Scheer's 'positive message' lost in all the negativity

All through the Conservative leadership race, Andrew Scheer kept talking about the “positive message” he was promoting. Since becoming leader, he has carried on in much the same vein. Positive tone, positive approach, positive alternative, “positive Conservative solutions to get Canada back on track” — the air is fairly thick with positivity. “We have such a great, aspirational, positive message,” Scheer says. “I love looking forward.” (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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